Bicycles, a real mean of transport...
In Japan, bicycles are a mode of transport.
They can go anywhere, except in few spots where it is really mentioned that they cannot enter, and they mostly run on sidewalks due to traffic on the regular streets.
It is amazing to see how parents carry their children on bikes that are specially made for this. In the front and the back they have special seats, they are mostly electric pedal-assist to make it easy when the road goes up, and no matter the weather, you see them all around, to bring to or to fetch children from schools, etc... seated children are totally relaxed and in total trust with the person driving the bike.
Many people use bicycles in Japan, they are everywhere, so watch out for bikes on sidewalks. And there are also many parking places with a small fee only for bicycles.
Pedal-assist is the name of the operating mode on the electric bikes. When you turn on the motor the mode helps you pedal to assist you on slopes and daily commutes. Most e-bikes have this feature built-in and you can turn it on by twist or thumb throttle. Assist bikes are made so that the function of assisting starts when you start pedaling, it needs to sense that you are pedaling for the motor to start to assist.
© PHOTOS BY JC DUMONT
My bike, not pedal-assist.